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Swift set to return as Suzuki’s most popular model

Wildest dreams: The new Swift is expected to add about 600 units a month to Suzuki’s sales tally, or 4200 to the brand’s bottom line by the end of the year.

Suzuki aiming for 600 sales a month for its new-generation Swift light car

Suzuki logo7 Jun 2017

SUZUKI Australia is banking on its crucial new-generation Swift hatch to lift its local monthly sales to about 600 units, as it looks to reclaim its title as Suzuki’s best-selling model from the Vitara SUV and return to the top four best sellers in the softening light-car segment.

Speaking to GoAuto at the national media launch of the fifth-generation Swift, Suzuki Australia general manager Andrew Moore said the car-maker could sell more units, but supply of the Japanese-built hatchback is limited.

“We’d like to go beyond that, we’ve just got to be a bit cautious because globally it started off really well, so there is strong demand in every market,” he said.

“Obviously the production line has got to be able to feed that demand, so we might be able to get to 800 but we don’t know if we can get the cars.

“600, we’re pretty confident we can get that level of supply.”

If the car-maker is able to hit sales targets with the new Swift, the nameplate would return as Suzuki’s best seller, outpacing the popular Vitara SUV, as well as the segment-sharing Baleno and just-launched Ignis light crossover.

The Vitara is the only Suzuki model to experience year-on-year growth, with the crossover averaging about 500 sales per month and enjoying an almost 20 per cent lift so far this year compared with the same period in 2016.

Although Suzuki expects the Swift to overtake the Vitara in monthly sales, Mr Moore said the Vitara would continue to find new buyers and that the new Swift would draw attention back to the slow-selling light-car segment.

“We want to keep pushing Vitara sales ups because Vitara is going quite well for us and obviously as that segment grows, it will automatically grow as well,” he said.

“The light segment in Australia has probably been a bit devoid of new models for a few years, and Swift is probably the most iconic car in the light segment – it’s going to give the whole segment a bit of a boost – sort of something new, something fresh to bring people back in to this type of car.”

With combined sales of Swift and Baleno – which adds around 250-300 sales per month – Suzuki is hoping to become the most popular brand in the sub-$25,000 light-car segment month-to-month.

However, for the first five months of the year, the segment is down 16.3 per cent compared to the same time last year, with the Hyundai Accent leading on 6349 sales, followed by the Mazda2 (5080) and Toyota Yaris (4815) – each averaging 1270, 1016 and 963 a month respectively.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.